Notes From All Over
Via Buried in the Slushpile – help for those REALLY long short stories that just…won’t… quit, Miami U presents The Miami University Novella Contest. This isn’t targeted specifically toward YA literature, but my long-winded peoples (and we know I mean me), might really benefit from this.
Okay, you know you’ve probably entered far too into the YA spectrum when you write an email to Disney demanding that they Save Kim Possible, but you know what? So what? Writers are artists, and artists are allowed to be… wildly eccentric. So there. Plus, KP is a stand-up YA heroine… I neglected to mention it last week, but Chasing Ray has a most excellent piece about bookish YA heroines in the latest Bookslut that I’m sure you’ll want to read. I know I am putting all of those books new to me on my personal to-read list — Bookish Grrrls R Us!
And people, did I say it was the Summer of Food? It IS! There’s another teen cookbook – this time written by an actual teen. This 15-year-old UK teen has just hit the States, chatting with Martha Stewart and going on the Today show. Food and teens: popular. Who knew?
Yesterday I read the School Library Journal’s criticism on a mystery written by a former professor of mine, and I just cringed. I live in a dull dread of a.) actually publishing someday (which does tend to be a bit limiting since that is also my life’s goal, at this point), and b.) actually garnering reviews. I have determined that I should probably not read them, and leave that kind of drama to the doughty S.A.M. as part of his job. And then I read today’s Planet Esme which has an “Ask Esme” segment that was heartening. A fan asked Esme why she never really rips on the books she reviews but doesn’t like. I loved Esme’s response, that criticism, in this society, is overrated, and an attitude of competition has given would-be critics more power and clout than is really necessary in this world.
It takes five seconds to write a bad review, and really, the main audience of a children’s or YA book is a kid, right? So if the book didn’t speak to us? Maybe it will speak to someone else. And as writers we all know that we will indeed have the “big books” and the “little books.” Perspective: good stuff, that, and in lamentably short suppy in this snarky, post-Simon Cowell, writer-stab-writer world in which we live.
Have you seen this cartoon by Devas T? Keep pushing, people. BIC. It’s the phrase of the week.